(CNN) — Chicken tikka masala is one of England’s favorite dishes, with chunks of spicy chicken surrounded by a rich tomato and yogurt-based sauce.
Now, the man best known for inventing it has died at the age of 77, his restaurant announced.
Ali Ahmed Aslam was hailed as one of the best curry connoisseurs in the world when he was said to have invented the dish at his restaurant, the Shish Mahal, which he opened in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1964.
Aslam once told news agency AFP that the bulb moment came in the 1970s when a customer complained that his tikka chicken was too dry and needed sauce. Aslam put together yoghurt and tomato sauce to accompany the meat.
In 2001, chicken tikka masala topped fish and chips on the UK’s favorite dishes list.
In a talk on the British concept of the period, Robin Cook, the late UK foreign secretary, described curry as “a truly British national dish, not only because it is the most popular, but also because it is an excellent British dish”. Britain absorbs and adapts to outside influences.”
“Chicken tikka is an Indian dish. Masala sauce was added to satisfy the British desire to serve their meat in sauce.”
“Acknowledging multiculturalism as a positive force for our economy and society will have significant implications for our understanding of Englishness.”
A bid to get the curry, backed by a local parliamentarian with EU-protected curry status and recognized Glasgow origins, failed in 2009 when other restaurants claimed it invented the dish.
Born in Pakistan, Aslam came to Glasgow as a child when his family moved.
The restaurant, which closed 48 hours after his death, shared the news in a Facebook post on December 19. “Mr. Ali passed away this morning… we are all absolutely devastated and heartbroken,” they shared.
His funeral was held the next day at Glasgow Central Mosque. The restaurant had informed that any restaurant fan is welcome to attend.
Cameron added that he has been a regular since he was two years old, and that his father started eating at the restaurant in the 1960s.
“It really feels like a family business and I could live a year or more before he’s gone, and when I walk in they still call Mr Cameron and ask about my parents and my brother,” she said. when the restaurant moved to Glasgow, “everyone went with it – the food and service have always remained excellent.”
Top image: Ali Ahmed Aslam is said to have invented the chicken tikka masala at his Glasgow restaurant in the 1970s. (Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)